Metaphor: (met a - for) n. a figure of speech in which a term is transferred from the object it ordinarily designates to one it can designate only by implicit comparison or analogy, as in the phrase evening of life (definition taken from "The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language").
The past few days in the aftermath of the Arizona shootings, many on the left - including the "unbiased" media - immediately jumped to the unfounded conclusion that political rhetoric - coming from the right, of course - was somehow responsible for the killings and woundings of many people in that state. As time went by, this was proven to be untrue. Jared Loughner, the lone gunman, who shot and killed six people, while wounding fourteen others, was mentally unstable. He and he alone was the "guilty party." Mr. Loughner was found to be "unpolitical," meaning he did not follow politics, didn't listen to "talk radio," nor did he watch television shows that discussed the political happenings in the country. He wasn't interested. Instead, Jared Loughner had many personal issues and was very irrational. And rational people cannot explain the irrational, no matter how hard they try.
Political rhetoric was eventually given a pass as being the scapegoat for the actions of Mr. Loughner. And rightly so. What IS very interesting is a topic that Charlie Sykes, a conservative talk radio host for WTMJ, discussed on Friday, January 14th. Here is the link to his specific podcast:
What Mr. Sykes talked about, with the blessings of sportscaster Wayne Larrivee, was Mr. Larrivee's use of the phrase "and there is your dagger!" whenever the Green Bay Packers football team was assured of a victory. (On to Chicago! - it is a great time to be a Packer fan! And for those of you who may not know, Mr. Larrivee is one of the "voices of the Green Bay Packers" who covers their football games live on the radio.) During the podcast, listen to Mr. Larrivee actually say "and there is your dagger, right through the heart of Jake Cutler and the Chicago Bears!" from an earlier game in the season. Oh my goodness! Violent? Yes. Graphic? Yes! But does anyone really believe that a Packer football player is stabbing a Bear player? That Jake Cutler is being knifed in the heart? No. People realize this is a harmless metaphor. But given what happened in Arizona, and how the liberal media was so quick to jump to conclusions and point the finger at the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, and conservatives, for somehow stirring up the violence with "political rhetoric,' wouldn't it be expected that if someone goes out and stabs someone after listening to Mr. Larrivee, Mr. Larrivee's rhetoric is now somehow to blame???
Silly to even think so. Metaphors are used all the time. Most people probably read the sports section of newspapers. One team "kills" another. One team "annihilates" another. One team "slaughters" another. However, most people who have an ounce of common sense realize that a team is not really "killing, annihilating," or "slaughtering" another team. No, one team won and another team lost. That's all. Harmless. Such headlines or references don't mean that the winning teams picked up machine guns and mowed down members of the opposing teams, or ran out onto the playing field and knifed all the members of the losing team.
So, does Mr. Larrivee need to tone down his violent rhetoric in order to assure that people do not go out and kill one another? Should he use the words "and there is your time out!" as Charlie Sykes joked about, in an effort to keep the perpetually-offended politically-correct crowd happy? No. Just imagine if come Sunday, the Packers win - they beat the Chicago Bears - and Mr. Larrivee shouts out "and there is your time out!" Wouldn't that sound simply ridiculous? Of course it would. The audience wants to hear "AND THERE IS YOUR DAGGER!" - and on to the Super Bowl!
Let's get real. The majority of people in the United States are not idiots, as many of the liberal elitists like to believe. We know right from wrong. We know what is a metaphor and what isn't. For example, we know what the word "target" means, ala Sarah Palin or the Democratic "target" map from 2004. We know that neither Palin, nor the Democrats meant that it was "open season" to hunt and kill members of the opposite party. Common sense tells us that. We know that political discourse is good for the country. And we know that the Obama Administration and liberals don't like to hear complaints about how many feel that the country is being led towards socialism. They don't want to hear it - they want people to follow along without question. Well, we won't. We will keep up the political discourse and complaints. After all, free speech is for everyone - not just the left. And metaphors are just that - metaphors. Most people DO know the difference.